torstai 2. lokakuuta 2014

Patrol AAR - Vähemmän mestarillinen partioreissu

Puolalaiset vasemmalla, ruotsalaiset oikealla. Tiedustelukohteina mylly, sikala ja kahlaamo
 For yesterdays game I brought 12 FP Polish skirmish group:
colonel with 4 command points, banner of pancerny, banner of cossacks, two strengthened banners of dragoons joined into a squadron of 6 bases, two banners of cossacks joined into squadron of 4 bases, banner of elite Wallachians and banner of elite cossacks plus a major to help keep the horde in order. My friend brought a Swedish skirmishforce of same nominal strength: 2 companies of dragoons at 2 bases each, squadron of armored veteran reiters of 4 bases, squadron of arquebus armed reiters of sdame strength and company of reiters with just pistols and bad attitude. To lead he had a colonel, major and a captain.

For scenario we got patrol - both getting unexpected reinforcements as extra effect.
Battle field included a river splitting the field into two with ford as one point to be scouted, two others being the pigsty in the middle and the windmill in the back. The area was known to be miserable going for horsemen with small swamps and uneven ploughed fields waiting for the unwary traveller.
(We called fields as ground that robs cavalry of impact bonus, but has no other effect.)

With my recon advantage I had option of bringing troops in from the side or deploying one unit forward - I chose the latter, pushing my elite cossacks forward in the centre.

The first round was just moves and some shooting after movement form both sides.
Swedes advanced on all sides throwing their dragoons in the centre to the forefront. To keep my troops in command range of the colonel I let the pancerni advance in the centre, following elite cossacks and svivelled to the left with cossack squadron and dragoons.

At this point I found out that maneuvering squadron of 6 bases of dragoons who march and move in close order is a bit ackward. If I take that  amount of dragoons later, they will get to work in smaller units.

On my right flank cossacks and Wallachians approached the ford spotting the reiter company waiting.
Vasemmalla kapteeni Kniephausen ratsumiehineen, oikealla valakialaiset käärmelippuineen ja taustalla kasakat.

Round two I lost initiative - again - so my opponent got his dragoons inside the pigsty. On my right flank he charged and wheeled with his central reiter group towards the centre of the field, on my left he advanced with arquebusreiters and left his dragoons to defend.

I left my elite cossacks with move pushing forward, towards the rear of the dragoons on the open, cossacks on the right countercharged the reiters, cossack squadron by the mill charged the nearest enemy - being the dragoons. Pancerny pushed forward in order to have a go at the approaching reiters. Dragoons snaked past the mill and dismounted what I thought was outb of charging range of the leftmost reitergroup.  Elite wallachians sneaked past the charging reiters in attempt to close their possible retreat.

Reiterit vastaan kasakat - ruotsalaisilla enemmän peltiä, mutta kasakoita on enemmän
On the right cossacks won their battle with their sheer numbers  and threw the reiters backwards into hail of arrows and bullets by the elite wallachians who finished the hapless group off.
On the left the squadron of cossacks  massacred the company of dragoons even though they lost their impact bonus to trundling throug the fields. What a round for the Poles. I even had all three objectives scouted.

Round three - I think I had the initiative this time. Since I had no obvious weak targets on front sectors of my cossacks I ordered the dragoons to defend and continued with move orders with pancerny and all the relevant cossacks.

Reiters left on the field obviously had every intention of charging and to my dismay were on range to slam into dragoons. (Bad measuring on my part and I half expected to maneuver the guys out of harms way by reforming. The other - armoured and veteran reiter squadron also received orders I expected to be charge.Furthermore as unexpected reinforcements a clone of the freshly killed reiters appeared in good order on the sidelines - ready and willing to slam into my troops. With the threat of three charges I ran out  of places to effectively get my banners and squadrons out of harms way.
Elite cossacks and pancerny pulled off, but cossack squadron had to trot and meet the cossacks to make way and dragoons  had to take the brunt of swedish assault standing back against the wall.
Cossacks did win their opponent - again simply by outnumbering them in large number. The dragoons on the other hand got slaughtered against the walls of the mill, with only horseholders being able to run away.
Joskus on ikävää olla rakuuna
The only positive result of this round was the veteran reiters on topleft of the pc being force to squeeze into narrower frontage past the corner of central house and failing to charge home, disorganizing themselves in the process. As a bonus Swedes scout the mill.

Round four - swedes get the initiative, get the disorganization intpo order and charge the pancerny from two sides, Pancerny respond with a counter charge towards the first threat - reiters in the centre. The troops from the mill need to narrow their front but do so, wheel and slam into the back of the pancerny banner. Unsurprisingly the pancerny break and flee after taking casualties from both front and back. The centre reiter pursue but fail to catch them, thus loosing their orders. On other side of the field wallachians cross the ford and start to shoot dragoons - still without orders - lounging in the pigsty. Only results is one casualty to the wallachians. The cossacks engaged with reiters charge again and after sharp clash force them to flee. They also pursuit to the edge of the table and lose their orders- leaving them in practise out of the action for rest of the game. The veteran cossacks take positions on the flanks and back of the reiters punishing the pancerny and use their carbines and bows giving out some casualties, but failing to kill bases.

On round five pancerny flee off board. Poles have initiative and the elite cossacks make an frustrated charge to the back of the armoured reiters in the centre. Unfortunately arquebusreiters by the mill pour lead into their flank and manage to kill of a base. Despite pressing home the charge the elite cossacks lose the battle and withdraw in good order. On the other side of pigsty wallachians and cossacks from beyobd the river exchange shots with the dragoons in the pigsty with no effect.
At the end of the round reinforcements in form of pancerny banner appear to the Poles.

Round six - no action with effect to the end result. Poles have heavier casualties, but soak them better, being more numerous. Poles also managed to scout all three objectives thus getting on point more in the results - resulting in a draw.
My opponent blundered when he attacked on my right flank at round two. With good tactical discipline it was not desperate gamble, but it did leave him vulnerable without having scouted the objective especially since he pushed his troops on other side of the river too far from the ford at the same time.

I totally blew round three - failing to appreciate the 30cm charge rate of his reiters fully. The idea to avoid one on one engagements with armoured reiters was sound, but the execution failed with dire results. Problem was added by distance between my commander and separated troops later - making it impossible to answer to threats in nimble way and to use all my troops. Deploying dragoons in one squadron was mistake, so was dismounting them on charge range.  And I should have taken the troops from other side of the river faster to create a threat to Swedish rear. (Not that it would have hindered him from smashing forward, but maybe harassing and giving extra casualties in any case.)

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